The Westland Wasp HAS1 that we operate is former Royal Navy helicopter XT787. She rolled off the production line at the Fairey division of Westland Helicopters at Hayes on 10th January 1967 and made her first flight on 19th January 1967. In her Royal Navy career, XT787 (as '476') operated on frigates HMS Leander and HMS Rhyl (as part of 829 Sqn,) and also later with 703 Sqn (Portland).
After being retired in 1981, the Royal Navy's Wasp helicopters were offered a final swansong during the Falklands campaign when RN Wasps were brought out of storage for deployment on Leander, Tribal and Rothesay class frigates which were too small to carry the Lynx helicopter which replaced the Wasps on the newer ships of the fleet.
However, in October 1982, not long after the cessation of hostilities in the Falkland Islands, she was struck off charge from the Royal Navy and, because of her excellent condition and low hours (679:40 total flying hours in RN) she was transferred to New Zealand where, until 1997, she served as part of the RNZAF but in service with RNZN as NZ3905.